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How To Get Paid To Take Care of A Family Member With a Disability


If you or a loved one suffers from a physical or mental disability, then an application may be submitted to the Social Security Administration (SSA) for benefits through the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs. These are federal programs that provide monetary benefits to those who are rendered unable to work due to a disability.

However, the monetary benefits may only take care of your bills and living expenses only. However, if any of your family members is suffering from a disability, they may also need a caregiver for their everyday activities as well as for speeding up the recovery process. At London Disability, we are committed to finding out new ways to help the disabled community and provide them with all help to cope with the inconvenience posed by a disability.

While SSDI and SSI benefits may not take care of the caregiver expenses, there are some programs that do render some help for managing these necessary expenses.

Medicaid Self-Directed Care Pays Caregivers

Individuals who qualify for SSI benefits are also entitled to Medicaid coverage. It pays health care expenses to low-income individuals. While the funding for this program comes from both the federal government and the states, it is administered by the states.

The Medicaid program was set up in 1965 under Title XIX of the Social Security Act. The federal government lays down the basic guidelines for Medicaid but since the administration is left to the states, there can be minor variations from state to state including eligibility of guidelines and coverage of services.

This program gives an option to a disabled person the to choose a person, including a family member, for serving as a caregiver, and payment is made for that caregiver through the Medicaid program.

Veteran-Directed Care Program

Known as the Veteran-Directed Home and Community Based Services program till 2018, the Veteran-Directed Care program is intended to help those veterans who are at risk of being placed in a nursing institution for healthcare. The program gives them the choice of staying at home while availing of the required nursing assistance.

Under this program, the veterans are given a budget to manage and pay for long-term services in consultation with a program counselor appointed to provide guidance to the veterans, their families, and their caregivers for the following purposes-

Veterans who are enrolled in the VA health care system are considered eligible for the Veteran-Directed Care program. However, before qualifying for benefits under this program, they must undergo a screening process to decide whether they need the offered services.

Under the general circumstances, a veteran will be considered for availing services under this program if assistance is required for daily activities like bathing, getting dressed or cooking meals. Assistance under this program can be sought through the local VA medical centers.

Program Of Comprehensive Assistance For Family Caregivers (PCAFC)

The PCAFC program is available to veterans suffering from a VA disability of a minimum of 70%. However, the benefit of this program is available to only two categories of veterans-

  • Those who suffered disability or worsening of an existing disability while on active duty on or before May 7, 1975.
  • Those who suffered disability or worsening of an existing disability on or after September 11, 2001.

Additionally, the veteran must require at least six months of personal care services. Once this condition is satisfied, a family member can be designated as a caregiver. The designated caregiver will be deemed to be the primary caregiver and the veteran can choose two more family members as secondary caregivers.

The primary caregiver is entitled to the following benefits under the PCAFC program:

  • A monthly stipend is paid under the program.
  • Healthcare facilities through the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the VA.
  • Mental health counseling services.
  • Allowances for taking the veteran to appointments.
  • A 30-day annual break through a substitute caregiver.

The secondary caregivers get similar facilities and benefits as the primary caregiver.

Insurance policies

Apart from the federal programs, the terms of your private health insurance policy may authorize payments to caregivers chosen out of the family. However, it entirely depends on the terms of your insurance policy. You may consult an SSI lawyer to determine whether your policy contains terms for paying benefits to a family caregiver. Family Medical Leave Act And State Laws

The Family Medical Leave Act is a federal law that allows 12 weeks of annual unpaid leave to serve as a caregiver for a family member. Moreover, several states also authorize paid family and medical leaves.

Contact an experienced SSD lawyer

At London Disability, we have an experienced team of disability lawyers and attorneys eager to help you or your loved ones in case of a disability. If you want to get paid for taking care of a disabled family member, contact the London Disability firm for a free consultation.

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